perogynachos3

Perogy Nachos

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When you think about it, a heaping plate of perogy nachos is really just a natural evolution of the humble perogy.

And while we’re here, has anyone concluded what is the proper spelling of this potato-filled dumpling? Pierogi? Pirogi? Piroghi? Perogie? Pyrogy? Perogi? I digress…

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The key to a successful perogy nacho is crispiness.  For this experiment, I’ve opted for a healthier version and I’ve baked the perogies (because “healthy” is first and foremost on the mind of anyone contemplating a plateful of perogy nachos, for sure).  Baking this way produced a successfully crispy perogy that was slightly chewy as well.  Warning: the chewiness may be a bit too unorthodox for true perogy traditionalists.

For (blow your mind) more crispiness, try deep-frying day old leftover perogies and I guess, put whatever new year’s resolution diet you may be on, on-hold for the day.  If this intrigues you, see the alternate directions below.
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PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 30 min    YIELD: 
Ingredients:
  • 1 package of your favourite frozen perogies (cheddar variety recommended)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • 200-250 g bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • jalapeño or favourite chilli pepper to taste, sliced
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F, and line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread frozen perogies on baking sheet and spray with canola oil, or brush lightly to coat.
  2. Bake perogies 20 min, or until lightly browned, and maybe even a little bursting at the seams.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare toppings.  Slice green onions, tomatoes, and chilli peppers; crumble cooked bacon; grate cheese.
  4. Remove perogies from oven, pile and layer with remaining ingredients in oven-proof baking dish, and broil at 400 F just until cheese is melty, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, and why not have some Guac on the side for dippin’ (because it’s “healthy” *wink* *wink*, *nudge* *nudge*)
 Alternate Directions:
  1. Instead of frozen perogies, use perogies that have been previously boiled and drained.  This is a great way to use up leftovers if you happen to have any.  Preheat canola oil in deep-frying device of your choice (I use the George Foreman Lean Mean Fryer) to 375 F.
  2. In batches, submerge perogies for approximately 10 min or until lightly browned, and turning halfway through.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, and pick up from step #3 above.
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Warm Potato Salad

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It may not be a mainstream menu item in most restaurants, but over the last couple of years I’ve enjoyed a few different variations of the Warm Potato Salad while eating out. Craving something dilly and in anticipation for company coming over for a BBQ dinner– I went on the search. In my travels, I came across this Earl’s copycat recipe from Playing with My Food. It was the beginning of something amazing. I’ve made a few modifications to make it more to my tastes.

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My better half is not a fan of cold salads in general, unless it’s of the lettuce variety then it might be tolerable. So, I was glad when he embraced the idea of this warm salad. BBQ season around here is definitely well underway and so far this has become a new staple in this house.

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: YIELD: 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 4 to 6 medium to large russet potatoes
  • Kernels stripped from 1 to 2 cobs of fresh corn; approximately 1/2 cup
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil (or just enough to lightly coat vegetables)
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and fresh ground pepper, or to taste
  • 5 to 6 strips of cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt or sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Do not bother peeling the potatoes– wash them well, but leave the skins on.  Dice potatoes in approximately 1/2 inch pieces.  Strip fresh corn kernels and combine with potatoes and minced garlic.  Using frozen or canned corn would not be a deal-breaker, but why not fresh if it happens to be in season.  Season with salt/pepper and lightly coat the mixture in olive oil.  Bake for ~30 to 40 minutes until potatoes are soft when a fork is inserted and their outsides are beginning to get crispy and golden.  Alternatively– if you’re short on time and don’t want to wait, you can microwave the potatoes prior to dicing them on the ‘baked potato’ setting, and this should cut your bake time down by 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, chop bacon, dill and chives.  Combine the remaining ingredients, mix and set aside to use when the rest is ready to come out of the oven.
  3. Important: do not mix the sauce in until you’re just ready to serve.  Also a note of caution– the texture of the sauce changes not for the better (thus is the nature with mayonnaise) when the mixture is reheated, so avoid if possible.
  4. Enjoy!
bcnchedmuffins

Bacon Cheddar Muffins

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Otherwise known as “Breakfast Muffins”.

Tonight I felt like baking muffins, so I made these Bacon Cheddar muffins, as well as these Banana Muffins, and these Blueberry Bran Muffins, though substituting 1 cup of the blueberries for 1 cup of fresh cranberries (it’s that time of the year!).  Actually all 3 of these kinds of muffins make for a nice breakfast.

Why would anyone need that many muffins…?  There was a number of reasons: it was a convenient time for me to use up some bananas and blueberries, I also intend on freezing some of them for later, and who doesn’t appreciate a little variety.

PREP TIME: 20 min    COOK TIME: 25 min    TOTAL TIME: 45 min   YIELD: 7
Ingredients:
  • 7 to 8 strips of bacon (about 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chopped)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion or chives
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
Directions:
  1. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Drain excess grease from bacon using paper towels, let cool and crumble.
  2. In small bowl, reserve 1 tbsp of bacon and 2 tbsp of the shredded cheese.  Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven 375 degrees.
  4. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper, salt, and cayenne.  Stir in remaining bacon and Cheddar.
  5. Whisk together milk, oil, onion, sour cream and eggs.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir together only until just moistened.
  6. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups then sprinkle reserved bacon and Cheddar mixture on top.
  7. Bake for 20-25 min in 375 degree oven, until tops are firm to the touch and muffins are golden.